Oceanic whitetip sharks captured after multiple Red Sea attacks

According to a Washington Post report two oceanic whitetip sharks suspected of being responsible for attacking four people in two separate incidents have been captured. The attacks took place off Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Wednesday. The victims included 3 Russians and a Ukranian, one of whom remains in critical condition, according to various other sources.

Following the attacks, beaches along the Sharm el-Sheikh were closed, and water activities were suspended. One of the captured sharks was reportedly identified as the shark involved in one of the attack incidents by a diver who rescued an attack victim. The shark was recognizable based on identifiable damage to its dorsal fin, according to a Ria Novosti report. The Washington Post article notes that both sharks captured were sent to Ras Mohammed Conservation Center to be dissected in attempt to find ingested human flesh.

Attacks by oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) are considered to be extremely rare, according to statistics and shark experts. Richard Pierce of Shark Trust was quoted as saying that the attacks were likely the result of a “specific event or activity.” According to a statement from Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS), the CDWS is working with shark experts and officials to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attacks, which include “possible indications of illegal fishing or feeding in the area.”

It should be noted that various media outlets are reporting different versions of this story. In fact, the CDWS statement notes that three people were attacked in three separate instances, while the Washington Post report lists four victims involved in two separate incidents.

Thanks to H E Sawyer for bringing this unfolding story to my attention.

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